By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos—The Supreme Court has affirmed the 1958 Lagos State Acquisition of Land along Ilasamaja/Oshodi Expressway, now Isolo Industrial Estate and Matori Estate.
Government of the Western Region had in 1958 acquired a vast area of Land measuring 5000 acres for public purposes.
The land acquired was within Badagry, Ikeja and Lagos.
The judgment was said to have be given last Friday.
Though details of the court judgment were not given, Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji, through his Public Affairs Director, Kayode Oyekanmi, said the Tribunal, in its judgment, had awarded N1, 141,631.20 as compensation for the 929.6 acres.
Not satisfied with the decision of the Tribunal and failure of Lagos State to immediately pay the compensation, the Akingbaiye Family and 23 others (appellants) on December 27, 1985 filed an originating summons at the Lagos High Court against the then Military Governor of Lagos State and the Attorney General of the State, claiming payment of interest on the judgment sum.
The Court entered judgment for the appellants but they were dissatisfied with the judgment only on the issue of interest and consequently filed an appeal.
In 2002, the Court of Appeal, Lagos division dismissed the Appeal, while the appellants then appealed to the Supreme Court.
The appellants represented by L.A.O Nylander, filed their Brief on May 31, 2016, while the state Government filed it brief on June 28, 2016.
While arguing the case, Kazeem contended that the High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter in view of the provisions of Section 16 of the Public Lands Acquisition (Miscellaneous Provision) Act of 1976 which confers exclusive jurisdiction on the Lands Tribunal to decide issues in respect of compensation payable on lands acquired by the government.
Kazeem argued that where a party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Lands Tribunal, the proper Court to approach was the Court of Appeal and not the High Court as was done by the appellants in the instant Appeal.
After considering submissions by the parties to the suit, the Supreme Court held that the decisions of the High Court of Lagos and the Court of Appeal were null and void in view of the fact that the two courts lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter, adding that something placed on nothing is bound to fall.